Oath Against Harm in the Practice of the Dharma

The BCWA Endorses the Oath Against Harm in the Practice of the Dharma

The Buddhist Council of Western Australia (BCWA) is committed to ensuring that our nation’s Buddhist organisations are free from harm and are safe places for all people. The BCWA stands against any form of abusive behaviour, including: physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse.

The BCWA has joined hundreds of Buddhist individuals and organisations in Australia and around the world to endorse the Oath Against Harm in the Practice of the Dharma, a statement that affirms the importance of ethical behaviour in our spiritual communities, especially in the context of inappropriate teacher-student interactions.

The Oath was developed by the Alliance for Buddhist Ethics (ABE)  and sexual abuse survivors, encouraging Buddhists from all traditions to take a stand against abuse in our communities.


Oath Against Harm in the Practice of the Dharma

In the practice of the Dharma, I hold the student-teacher relationship to be a sacred connection which prioritises the spiritual development, maturation, and well-being of the student.
Similarly, I hold that Dharma organisations exist to provide safe environments which allow those who practice the Dharma to thrive in supportive communities, founded on aspirations of good-will for all, and supported by a strong ethical foundation of non-harming.
I acknowledge that any behaviour which would be categorised as  abusive—whether emotionally, physically, financially, psychologically or sexually—or which is exploitative, coercive, or an abuse of power, or which attempts to cover-up such behaviour, is harmful and unnecessary in the practice of the Dharma. It is unacceptable in all circumstances.
I am aware that harm has been caused by failures to meet these standards in the past, and I declare my commitment to maintaining them for the well-being and benefit of all. May this commitment help the Dharma to flourish, both now and in the future, and may it help to alleviate suffering and create a more compassionate world.

Find out more about the Oath Against Harm on the Alliance for Buddhist Ethics website.